COVID-19: Quebec economic support programs

Current as of November 9, 2020.

78 minute read
09 November 2020

Quebec economic support programs

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Quebec declared a provincial state of emergency under the Decree declaring a state of health emergency through Quebec on March 13th, 2020. This decree had been renewed on March 20 and 29, 2020.

General information available here.

The Government of Quebec has put in place certain measures aimed at the resumption of activities. General information regarding gradual resumption of activities under the COVID-19-related pause is available here. As such:

  • On May 13, the government announced a plan for the gradual resumption of certain outdoor sports, recreation and outdoor activities;

  • Gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted from 22 May;

  • As of May 25, retail businesses in the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal with direct access to the outdoors usually used by customers will be able to resume their activities; and manufacturing companies in all regions of Quebec will be allowed to resume their activities without any restriction as to the number of employees present to ensure their operations.

  • As of June 1, companies located outside the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal offering private health care as well as body and aesthetic care will be able to resume their activities.

  • Some indoor gatherings of up to 50 people in public places may be permitted as early as June 22 while indoor gatherings of 250 people could be authorized in mid-July, subject to the evolution of epidemiological data.

  • Physical distancing could be reduced to 1.5 meters in some areas where there is little movement of individuals. These include, for example, classrooms, CEGEPs, universities, theatres and cinemas. However, the 2-meter physical distancing rule will remain in areas where there is increased traffic, such as common areas, waiting lines or restaurants. Children under the age of 16 will be allowed to be less than one meter apart from each other. This measure will apply to schools and summer camps.

  • Starting from June 19, 2020, Quebecers will be able to enjoy the following tourism activities: zoos, gardens, visits to artisanal processors and agro-tourism farms, tourist welcome and information centers. Maritime excursions will also be able to resume their activities starting from July 1, 2020.

  • The Government announced the resumption of team sports, the reopening of gym facilities, pools and beaches as of June 22, 2020. Combat sports remain prohibited until further notice although training is permitted.

  • As of June 22nd, 2020 all sectors of the economy are allowed to reopen, except for festivals and major events, overnight stays at holiday camps, and combat sports.

  • At present, access is allowed to all regions of Québec, with the exception of the Cree Territory of James Bay and Nunavik.

  • On July 23rd, 2020 the government of Québec issued a press release announcing an easing of restrictions for indoor and outdoor public gatherings effective August 3rd, which will increase indoor and outdoor gathering limits to a maximum of 250 people, subject to compliance with health and safety protocols. Said easing of restrictions do not apply to private gatherings in homes and cottages, where the limit remains at a maximum of 10 people. Restrictions on large public gatherings such as festival and concerts will continue to apply until August 31, 2020.

  • On August 5th, 2020 the government of Québec issued a press release announcing that a maximum of 250 people will now be able to gather in outdoor public places. However, physical distancing of two meters must continue to be respected. The government is also lifting restrictions on festivals and events for all regions of Quebec, but organizers will have to ensure that the capacity of the site allows a physical distance of two meters between the people gathered and must end the activity as soon as public health measures become impossible to respect. In addition, responsible authorities will be prohibited from issuing permits or authorizations required in certain cases, especially when the site capacity does not allow a distance of two meters to be maintained between participants. Fines between $1,000 and $6,000 could be imposed for non-compliance.

  • On August 10th, 2020 Dr. Arruda announced that children aged 10 and over will now be required to wear masks in enclosed public places and on public transit as of August 24th, 2020

  • On August 10th, 2020 the Government of Québec announced its back-to-school plan, by which the use of masks will be mandatory for students from grade 5 to Secondary 5, as well as for adult education. Masks will be mandatory in common areas, in hallways, on school buses, but not in classrooms. In addition, teachers and school staff will also be required to wear masks in common areas and hallways. The Minister of Education highlighted that it will be up to school boards to provide masks free of charge. Regarding group size, groups of 20 to 25 students will be formed and will remain in the same room for the entire school year. It will be the teachers and staff who will move from one room to another. Parents and relatives who live at the same address and who are medically vulnerable may refuse to send their child to school if proof of a medical exemption is provided to the school. Students will have access to "distance education" to take advantage of online courses and access to a teacher. 

  • On August 12th, the Québec Prime Minister, François Legault, announced that the government has not yet taken a position on the COVID-Alert tracing application. Update : On August 25th, Minister Clair announced that they had decided not to adopt said application, but that the government is ready to deploy such an application rapidly in the event of a surge in cases. 

  • On August 17th, the Québec Government unveiled the second phase of the province's plan for students' return, which will include a new funding of $20 million to hire more technicians, tutors, teachers and specialist educators for the 2020-2021 school year.

  • On August 18th, the Québec government unveiled their Action Plan for a Second Wave ("Action Plan"), which includes an assessment of the difficulties encountered and the initiatives implemented during the first wave of the pandemic.  It also identifies issues and priority actions to prepare the province for a possible second wave. The Action Plan includes nine areas of intervention: living conditions for the elderly, vulnerable people, the labour force, screening, prevention and management of outbreaks, clinical organization, supply, governance and communications. Several measures are already underway, and all will be implemented by September 30, 2020.  For each measure, the government promises that an authorized person will be responsible and accountable.

  • On August 18th the Québec government also announced that Public Health will receive $ 106 million in funding to ensure the protection of the health of the population and better support regional public health directors in their mandate. The funding will make it possible to hire more staff and acquire material resources.

  • On August 20th, The Government of Québec issued a press release announcing that it will advance one billion dollars under the Quebec Infrastructure Plan to renovate schools during the 2020-2021 school year and thus contribute to the economic recovery of the province. As a result, 42 new schools will be built and 31 others expanded to promote the socialization of students and their sense of belonging. The "new generation" schools will have an architectural identity that will highlight "accents of blue" and materials from Quebec, mainly "wood and aluminum."

  • On August 28th, Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge announced that Quebec would use its share of the $2 billion federal fund for the safe reopening of schools to improve school transportation and purchase more protective and disinfecting equipment.

  • On September 2nd, Quebec Premier François Legault mentionned that in the event of a second wave, the government does not plan to close all businesses at once. It will take a much more targeted approach that will vary from one region to another in order to avoid ending up in situations that will create adverse effects due to confinement and closures. In fact, the government will soon announce the establishment of a system of alert levels that will classify the regions of Quebec into four color groups: red, green, yellow and blue, with red representing the highest level of risk. More details will be announced shortly.

  • On September 3rd, with respect to the September 8-9 Ontario-Québec summit, the Premier stated that there would be two priority topics. The first, health transfers. The federal government's financial support for health care is non-recurring. The Quebec government finances 88% of health care spending. These are increasing by 5-6% per year while revenues are increasing by 3%. There is therefore a readjustment to be made and the Premier believes that a common front with the provinces can only be profitable. The second subject concerns economy and infrastructure. The provinces would like to have additional amounts with all the flexibility to help them accelerate certain infrastructure projects in order to stimulate the economy.

  • On September 3rd, it has been revealed that well-known Montreal lawyer, Julius Grey, is currently representing parents who are litigating for online courses for all children. Questioned about this issue, the Premier replied that due to a shortage of teachers in the system, these professionals cannot offer both online and in-person courses.

  • On September 8th, The Minister of Health and Social Services Christian Dubé unveiled the government's Progressive 4-Level Regional Alert and Intervention System.

  • On September 9th, in a news conference held in Mississauga at the conclusion of the first-ever Ontario-Québec Summit, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Québec Premier François Legault announced their governments agreed to collaborate on accelerating economic recovery and job creation, working towards increasing health care funding sustainability and preparedness, and advancing infrastructure renewal for the people of Ontario and Québec. Premier Legault explained that the 80-20 funding formula for health care must be amended to address the structural pressures provinces are facing in the delivery of health care.  Provincial health care expenditures of $200 billion consistently outstrip provincial revenues. This structural imbalance is due to the evolution in drugs, technology and the pressures of an aging population on the health care system. Federal funding of $40 billion is no longer sufficient to meet the needs of the provinces.   

  • On September 10th, Premier Legault said that Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Safety Geneviève Guilbault is working with the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) to determine the legal framework under which fines for failing to comply with the requirement to wear masks can be issued.  Premier Legault admitted that he has no intention of adding law enforcement personnel to monitor compliance with public health measures. He wants to make it difficult for people to fight the fines.

  • On same day, Premier Legault said the government is not contemplating a provincial-wide lockdown similar to the one it imposed in the spring. He also said that there are no plans to close bars and nightclubs in the short term as owners and patrons are complying with the public health guidelines.  Karaoke bars are another matter.  Premier Legault indicated that a decision regarding karaoke bars will be made shortly.

  • On September, 11th, the Ministry of Health and Social Services issued a press release formally announcing a ban on karaoke in public venues and a requirement for bar owners to keep a customer register — a measure that had previously been recommended but not obligatory. Ministerial Order 2020-063 orders the ban and the requirement for bar owners to keep a customer register. 

  • On September 15th, Minister Dubé indicated that there would be more police interventions, more inspections, more targeted screening, a ban on the sale of food after midnight in bars and tighter traffic control in certain areas that are currently in the yellow COVID-19 alert level.

  • On September 17th, in his press briefing, Health and Social Services Minister Christian Dubé clarified that all bars, restaurants and microbreweries will no longer be allowed to serve alcohol after midnight.

  • On September 18th, Deputy Premier and Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault announced the launch of a "massive and visible" police operation called OSCAR (Opération systématisée de comportements à risque) targeting 1,000 licensed establishments that serve alcohol (bars and restaurants) over the weekend to enforce compliance with public health measures. Deputy Premier Guilbault reminded reporters that police officers have the power to impose fines ranging from $400 to $6,000 for non-compliance.

  • On September 21st, Minister of Health and Social Services Christian Dubé, National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda and the Medical Advisor of Public Health Branch, Dr. Litvak held a press briefing in which they announced that outdoor gatherings were reduced from 250 to 50 people throughout the province. In addition, bars and restaurants must stop serving alcohol at 11:00 p.m.

  • On September 22nd, Minister Dubé announced that discussions will resume with opposition parties regarding the possibility of implementing a COVID tracing app adapted to Quebec. This implies the Quebec government does not intend to use the national COVID-Alert app.

  • On September 28th, Premier Legault announced that the Montreal Metropolitan area, the Capitale-Nationale area (Quebec City) but excluding Portneuf and Charlevoix and the Chaudières-Appalaches region (south of Quebec City) were being elevated the "red" alert level, the maximum alert. He said, "The situation is critical. This rise in cases could lead to an increase of hospitalizations and deaths and the government must act quickly in the interest of all Quebecers."

  • In response to this situation, the following new measures will take effect in the three regions on Wednesday at midnight for a 28-day period :
    • Ban on home gatherings, with some exceptions such as a single caregiver allowed per visit.
    • All bars, casinos and restaurants are closed (takeout only).
    • Premier Legault confirmed the government is working on measures to compensate owners.  
    • Libraries, museums, cinemas and theatres will also be closed.
    • Being less than two metres apart will be prohibited. Masks will be mandatory during demonstrations
    • Houses of worship and venues for events like funerals and weddings will have a 25-person limit
    • Hair salons, hotels and other such businesses will stay open
    • Schools will remain open.
  • On September 29th, Premier Legault said the province would likely adopt the "COVID-19 Alert App", promoted by the federal government. 

  • On September 30th, Quebec Premier François Legault announced that fines will range from $1,000 to $6,000 for those not complying with the new COVID-19 measures. Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Safety Geneviève Guilbault and National Director of Public Health Dr. Arruda joined the Premier.

  • On same day, the Governement of Quebec announced that social gatherings are banned in public parks. Only people who live in the same home can gather in public parks. Movement between regions for people who live in the "red" alert zones is banned. They are in lockdown within their zone. 

  • Moreover, the Quebec government announced that anti-mask demonstrators will be fined $1,000 if they fail to wear a mask during demonstrations. This applies to all regions of Quebec regardless of their COVID-19 alert level.

  • On October 5th, the province introduced further restrictions in red zones, including banning organized sports and leisure activities as well as tightening COVID-19 restrictions in high schools, CEGEPs and universities. Effective October 8th, organized team sports are prohibited in Quebec's red zones until Oct. 28. Fitness centers will be required to close for that time period.

  • As of October 8, higher education establishments in the red zone must apply their planned emergency protocols, Minister McCann announced. In addition to limiting the physical presence of students in universities and colleges, the movement of students and staff will be limited when they are on the premises. Universities and colleges will have to hold their classes virtually, unless the presence of students is essential. These new measures will be in effect until October 28.

  • On same day, the Quebec government announced a tightening of health measures in schools, which include mandatory masks for all high school students in classes and on school property. Grade 10 and 11 students will attend courses virtually one out of every two days. All extra-curricular activities and class trips will be temporarily suspended, though specialized programs like Sport Etudes and Art Etudes can be maintained as long as schools respect classroom groupings and two-meter distancing guidelines. The measures will take place for 20 days, until Oct. 28, at which point the situation will be re-evaluated.

  • On October 13th, Premier Legault announced that the regions of the Montérégie, all of Centre-du-Québec and the Capitale-Nationale, including Charlevoix were elevated to the red-zone, the maximum COVID-19 alert level. Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean was elevated to the orange zone. The restrictions linked to the orange and red-alert levels should be in force by the end of the week. 

  • On October 20th, Premier Legault announced that the Treasury Board President, Sonia Lebel, was in negotiations with unions to reduce the workload of nurses.  He emphasized that the salaries of nurses cannot be increased above the inflation level. He added that resources and services were available for those struggling with mental health problems during the pandemic. The Premier also confirmed that the shortage of personnel in testing centers or assigned to contact tracing had been addressed.

  • On October 21st, While Minister Fitzgibbon said there were less bankruptcies at this time of the year than in 2019, he did emphasize that Quebec businesses were more vulnerable now than they were a year ago. He reiterated the government's commitment to compensate for the loss of private investment in the economy.

  • On same day, Minister Fitzgibbon confirmed there were no plans to extend the financial support provided to businesses that closed because of the mandatory lockdown in COVID-19 red zones as the government has not made decision to extend restrictions beyond October 28.

  • On october 26th, the Quebec government announced that red-zone restrictions will be extended for another 28 days, to November 23. The government however confirmed that aid for businesses impacted said the restrictions will continue.

  • On same day, Regarding the impact of COVID-19 on school attendance, Premier Legault announced that 891 classes are currently closed, which means that 97% of students are still attending school. He added that high school students are more likely to transmit the virus than younger children.For this reason, Premier Legault announced that Grade 9 students in red zones will start attending in-person classes every other day starting on Monday, November 2nd, as their Grade 10 and 11 peers have done since the beginning of the fall semester. 

  • On November 4th, Premier Legault noted that 15 per cent of Quebec's population reported suffering from mental health problems. He reported this is a significant increase from the pre-pandemic level of 2 per cent. The Premier said that explains why the government decided to invest $100 million to improve mental health support services in the province. (in reference with August 18th, 2020 announcement)

In this section:


Financial aid for municipalities and public transit organizations


On September 25th, Finance Minister Eric Girard announced $2.3 billion in financial aid for municipalities and public transit organizations, 50 per cent of which is funded by the federal government under the Safe Restart Agreement with the provinces and territories.


Details are to follow.


For more information about the Financial aid for municipalities and public transit organizations

Forgivable loan for bars and restaurants that must close because of the new lockdown measures in red zone


On September 30th, the Quebec government announced that it would reimburse 80 per cent of the rent, taxes, and electricity for bars and restaurants that must close because of new lockdown measures in red zones. It is not clear yet whether this additional aid will be provided through this program.

Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said the measure will cost between $80 million and $100 million. The funds will be distributed via forgivable loans to an estimated 12,000 companies that must partially or completely close because they are in red-alert regions.


The loans will cover fixed expenses including municipal taxes, mortgage interest, electricity and rent that are not covered by an existing federal program. Up to 80 per cent of the loan amount — to a maximum of $15,000 — will not have to be repaid if conditions are met.

Details are to follow.


For more information about the forgivable loan for bars and restaurants that must close because of the new lockdown measures in red zone

Aide aux entreprises en régions en alerte maximale (AERAM)


On October 1st, the Quebec government announced the adoption of this program, which enable businesses subject to closure orders to obtain non-refundable assistance to pay their fixed costs.


The program will take the form of a loan forgiveness which will apply to financial assistance granted through the PACTE and the PAUPME programs; the loan forgiveness will be equivalent to certain fixed fees disbursed for the closing period in question, i.e. :

  • municipal and school taxes;
  • rent (the portion not covered by another government program);
  • interest paid on mortgage loans;
  • utility costs (e.g., electricity and gas);
  • insurance;
  • telecommunication costs;
  • permits and association fees.

The forgiveness may not exceed 80% of the amount of the loan or $15,000.


For more information about the Aide aux entreprises en régions en alerte maximale (AERAM)

Financial aid to Quebec theatres and cultural venues


On October 2nd, the Quebec government announced that it will be providing an additional $50 million to Quebec theatres and cultural venues to compensate for losses caused by the latest COVID-19 shutdown. Premier Legault said the government will give the cultural promoters 75 per cent of the revenue from tickets the venues would have sold if the lockdown had not happened. In other words, they will pay out 75 per cent of the revenue from ticket sales in the year-earlier period. The program will run for six months, from Oct. 1 to March 31, 2021.


This funding will not only apply to venues and theatres in the red zone but to cultural outlets across Quebec. For example, if in a yellow zone where a venue is allowed a capacity of 250 people, the government will reimburse 75 per cent of the difference in revenue from last year.

More details to follow.

Assistance to the music industry


This program is intended for for-profit companies involved in the production and marketing of musical or variety content and shows, artist management companies and performance agencies. By virtue of their role in Québec's cultural industry, these businesses play a strategic role in the career development of Québec artists.


Businesses that meet the following conditions are eligible for financial support:

  • be majority controlled by Canadian citizens or permanent residents whose tax residence is in Québec;
  • have its head office in Québec
  • in the case of the production of musical or variety content, demonstrate that the works are marketed to the general public through a distribution agreement or an agreement with a relevant partner (record company, aggregator, digital retailer, platform, etc.);
  • if applicable, have submitted reports on the use of grants obtained in previous years;
  • comply with the terms and conditions of the program;
submit only one application per SODEC fiscal year.


For more information on the music industry assistance program

Assistance Program for Maintaining Essential Regional Air Services in Times of Health Emergency


The purpose of this program is to support carriers so that they can provide essential air services in the regions of Quebec during the period of the COVID-19 health emergency. In particular, it is imperative to ensure the maintenance of regional air services to the most remote and isolated communities in Quebec that depend on these services, whether it be for the transportation of patients requiring health care and the transportation of medical personnel as well as the movement of goods and food.
Eligible air services are those whose final destination is one of the following isolated regions:

  • Northern Quebec;
  • Nunavik;
  • Eeyou Istchee James Bay;
  • Lower North Shore;
  • Anticosti Island;
  • Magdalen Islands;
  • Fermont;
  • Schefferville.
The Ministère des Transports reserves the right to modify the list of eligible destinations, depending on the evolution of the health emergency.


The program ends on the earlier of October 31, 2020 or 30 days after the end of the state of emergency related to COVID-19.
To be eligible, carriers must meet the following conditions:

  • be a Quebec-owned carrier offering scheduled commercial air services to the regions of Quebec;
  • hold a licence issued by the Canadian Transportation Agency to operate scheduled flights.

Air carriers operating international commercial flights are not eligible.
The following expenses are eligible :

  • operating costs;
  • administrative costs;
  • aircraft cleaning and disinfection costs;
  • costs related to COVID-19 screening measures.

Temporary assistance in the audiovisual sector (cinema and television)


This program aims to facilitate the resumption of preparation, production, post-production and dubbing activities in the film and television industry and to ensure the economic recovery of this sector.
This program has two components:
Component 1 - Support for maintaining production capacity in the audiovisual sector
Temporary financial support strand relating to the maintenance of production capacity in the audiovisual sector (cinema and television).

Component 2 - Temporary pilot component (interruption of filming due to COVID-19)

Provides financial assistance to producers covering a portion of eligible expenses related to a temporary or permanent interruption of filming on Quebec territory, as of July 15, 2020, when this interruption is the direct consequence of contamination of one or more actors or directors by COVID-19 declared under a valid insurance policy, and when this interruption is not covered by the general audiovisual production insurance in effect for the production.


See more information on the program

Adjustments to certain tax measures for businesses


First, to limit the impact of the temporary cessation of activities of corporations on their small business deduction, where applicable, a one-time adjustment will be made to the calculation of hours paid, an eligibility criterion for this measure.

Second, so as not to penalize companies that have had to temporarily cease or modify their operations because of the pandemic and that would therefore have difficulty meeting certain sectoral parameters necessary to obtain a tax incentive, the Government will provide temporary discretion to the departments and agencies responsible for administering these parameters in order to that they may, on an exceptional basis, authorize the eligibility of these corporations.


See the Ministry of Finance's Information Bulletin 2020-9

Financial aid to the tourism industry


Two components are proposed to support tourism businesses that are experiencing the effects of the COVID-19: support for tourism small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) for the opening of the 2020 season and collective adjustment projects for SMEs.

A third component is intended for collective projects demonstrating financial benefits for businesses in several regions or sectors.

The projects submitted must be structuring and contribute to renewing and improving the region's tourism offer. They must help achieve the following objectives:

  • Stimulate the regional economy by maintaining a quality tourism offering, developing an innovative tourism offering, and developing new niches for tourism enterprises.
Encourage the development of an original, complementary tourism offering that is respectful of sustainable development.


Eligible recipients are:

  • for-profit organizations (NPOs);
  • non-profit organizations (NPOs);
  • cooperatives;
  • municipalities;
  • Aboriginal communities and nations recognized by the National Assembly as well as Aboriginal organizations and businesses;
  • any grouping of these clienteles;
sectoral tourism associations (STAs), regional tourism associations (RTAs) and agents recognized by the Ministère du Tourisme or a group of them.


See the Regional Tourism Partnership Agreement for more information

Bill-61, "An Act to restart Québec's economy and to mitigate the consequences of the public health emergency declared on 13 March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic"


Bill 61, which has not yet been enacted into law , provides for the acceleration of several infrastructure projects that have the potential to promote Québec's economic recovery. Among other things, it reduces the length of environmental assessments and grants exceptional powers to the government.

Premier François Legault reiterated on July 9th, on August 13th, August 21th and on August 25th that his government intends to reintroduce Bill 61 in the fall.

On September 11th, Premier Legault confirmed that the Minister Responsible for Government Administration Sonia Lebel will table a replacement bill to Bill 61. Premier Legault said the replacement bill will provide guidelines to speed up the approval of the 200 infrastructure projects regarding schools, hospitals, seniors' homes, roads and public transit across the province.


For a summary of measures proposed by Bill 61

Provincial enhancement to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA / AUCLC)


The government of Québec announced its contribution to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance ("CECRA") program, whereby landlords who agreed to absorb a 25% loss by registering with the CECRA program would receive an amount equivalent to 12.5% of the rent, reducing their loss by half.

Update : On July 28th, 2020 the Quebec government announced that it has reached an agreement with the federal government in order to facilitate the application process to this effect.

Update: On November 2nd, 2020, the government of Québec announced that the enhancement program is now available.


The owners of commercial buildings located in Québec who submitted an application to the CECRA program are eligible to this additional assistance.


This program has ended.

Financial assistance for festivals and tourism events for the winter-spring 2020-2021 season


This call for projects is being issued despite the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to maintain the development and diversity of Quebec's tourism offering. The program has been made more flexible in order to support promoters if their activities are affected by the health regulations in effect at the time.


Promoters whose festivals and events are scheduled between November 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021 have until July 20, 2020 to apply for financial assistance through the Government of Quebec's Web site.


For more information on eligibility criteria and registration procedures

Cultural Enterprise Assistance Program


The Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) has deployed the Cultural Enterprise Assistance - Temporary Working Capital Support - COVID-19 program, under which it can provide loans at advantageous rates to cultural enterprises that are in a precarious financial situation or experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19. With an initial envelope of $50 million, the program will be increased by $50 million.


To be eligible, an enterprise must:

  • Be a legally incorporated company, for-profit or not-for-profit, operating mainly in SODEC's fields of activity. Sole proprietorships are not eligible, except in the field of fine crafts.
  • Have its head office in Québec and demonstrate that effective control of the business is mainly held by persons having their tax residence in Québec. A head office is defined as the place where the decision-making centre is located and where the actual management of the business is exercised.
  • Be in operation for at least one year.
  • Presenting a precarious situation and in temporary difficulty because of COVID-19.
Demonstrates that its financial structure has good prospects for profitability.


For more information about SODEC's financial assistance program

Concerted Temporary Action Program For Businesses


The Government of Quebec announced on March 19, 2020 the implementation of support measures for Quebec businesses, including a $2.5 billion program to support those affected by the impacts of COVID-19.

New emergency funding measure which provides ad hoc and exceptional support for businesses affected by the repercussions of COVID-19.

Details of Financial Assistance:

  • A loan guarantee is the preferred form of financing. Financing can also take the form of a loan from Investissement Québec.
  • Investissement Québec aims to work in close cooperation with financial institutions and federal authorities in order to share risks.
  • The minimum funding amount is $50,000.
  • Refinancing is prohibited.
  • This measure is designed to shore up the business's working capital.

All outstanding loans granted by Investissement Québec will be eligible for a moratorium on payment of principal and interest to be negotiated on a case by case basis.


Eligible Projects:

Businesses must show that their cash flow issues are temporary and that the liquidity shortage stems from:

  • A problem involving the supply of raw materials or products (goods or services);
  • An inability, or a substantially decreased ability, to deliver goods, products or services;

Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, according to the business's circumstances and Investissement Québec's management practices.

Eligible Industries.

All industries are eligible, except for the following:

  • Weapons manufacturing or distribution;
  • Games of chance and gambling, combat sports, bars, racing and other similar activities;
  • Production and sale of tobacco and drugs along with services related to their use, except for projects involving pharmaceutical-grade products approved by Health Canada and having a DIN, or their ingredients, as well as R&D projects licensed by Health Canada;
  • Any activity whose main purpose is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (religion, politics, human rights advocacy, etc.);
  • Any other activity that may offend public morals.


See more information on the Concerted temporary action program for businesses here.

Measures To Relax The Terms And Conditions Of Loans Already Granted Through Local Investment Funds


In order to support businesses affected by the impacts of COVID-19, flexibilities for outstanding loans and loan guarantees are being put in place.

A six-month moratorium has been put in place for the repayment (principal and interest) of loans already granted through the Local Investment Fund (LIF). Interest accrued during this period will be added to the loan balance. This measure is in addition to the moratorium already in place under most investment policies in effect in the Regional County Municipalities (RCM), which can be as long as twelve months.

The LFI is the main financial tool of the RCMs set up to support businesses in their territory.

Each LFI was established with a loan from the Québec government.

The LFI aims to stimulate local entrepreneurship by promoting access to capital for the start-up or growth of traditional or social economy businesses and for support for the next generation of entrepreneurs.


See more information on measures to relax the terms and conditions of loans already granted through Local Investment Funds here.

Emergency Assistance to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) (PAUPME)


The Emergency Assistance for Small and Medium Enterprises program is designed to support, for a limited period of time, eligible businesses in financial difficulty due to COVID-19 that require less than $50,000 in cash.


Eligible Clients

- businesses in all sectors of activity;

- social economy enterprises, including cooperatives and non-profit organizations engaged in commercial activities.

To be eligible, the business must

- have been in operation in Québec for at least one year;

- be temporarily closed, likely to close or showing signs of closure;

- be in a context of maintaining, consolidating or relaunching its activities;

- have demonstrated a causal link between its financial or operational problems and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applicants who are under the protection of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CRA, 1985, Chapter 36) or the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (CRA, 1985, Chapter B-3) are excluded.

Eligible Funding

Financing is based on the company's cash requirements and is determined on the basis of justified and reasonable expenses.

It shall make it possible to make up for the lack of liquidity caused by :

- an impossibility or a substantial reduction in the capacity to deliver products (goods or services) or merchandise;

- a problem in the supply of raw materials or products (goods or services).

Assistance will be provided in the form of a loan or loan guarantee of up to $50,000.


See more information on the Emergency Assistance to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) here.

Concerted Action Program for Maintaining Employment (PACME-COVID-19)


The PACME aims to provide direct support to businesses that are experiencing a reduction in their activities due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including self-employed workers, particularly through collective promoters recognized by the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail (CPMT), i.e. organizations whose actions affect several businesses and individuals in employment.

This program of the Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale is offered in collaboration with the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail. It provides direct financial support to promote training and the implementation of good human resources management practices and optimize the operation of businesses and the labour market.

The company's usual activities must have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, whether through a suspension, decrease, increase or diversification of activity.

This program may be combined with and complementary to any other federal or provincial government measures announced during the period in question.

Reimbursement of eligible expenses for business training projects :

- 100% of expenses of $100,000 or less;

- 50% of expenditures between $100,000 and $500,000.

Eligible Expenses :

Reimbursement of up to

- 25% of the payroll of workers in training (maximum eligible wage of $25 per hour), if the company receives the 75% emergency wage subsidy from Canada;

- 90% of the payroll of workers in training, if the company receives the 10% temporary Canadian wage subsidy;

- 100% of the wages of the workers in training, if the company does not receive a federal wage subsidy.

Reimbursement of up to 100% of training expenses, related costs and costs related to human resources management activities, according to the applicable scales (e.g. professional fees).

Projects are accepted until September 30, 2020, or until the $100 million budget envelope is exhausted.

Training or human resources management projects submitted may be of variable duration (from a few days to a few weeks or months) depending on the needs identified.


Business Component

The programme provides direct assistance to businesses for their human resource management and worker skills development activities, whether on the job, online or remotely, so that they can use the current pause to upgrade the skills of their workforce and thus be ready for the economic recovery. In addition, it will help reduce the negative impacts that the health crisis or economic downturn could have on businesses.

The program can also support businesses that will, in the short or medium term, have to make changes to their usual activities in order to continue their operations, as well as businesses that, once the current crisis has subsided, will want to resume their activities and increase their business revenues. In all cases of on-the-job training, the terms and conditions will have to comply in all respects with public health guidelines.

Eligible clients for the Business component

- Employers

- Self-employed workers (incorporated or unincorporated) with employees

- Co-operatives

- Social economy enterprises

- Non-profit and community organizations active in communities

- Employee and employer associations

- Professional associations

- Employer groups

- Workers' organisations.

Collective Developers Component

The Labour Market Partners Commission is committed, among other things, to a collective approach to meeting the training needs of companies and the workforce. This emergency programme is thus aimed at organisations whose actions affect several businesses and people in employment in order to generate a multiplier effect. Its flexibility will enable promoters to respond quickly to the needs of their clienteles.

Eligible Clienteles for the Group Promoters Component

- Sectoral labour force committees

- Joint committees set up following a decree

- Training mutuals recognized under the Regulation respecting training mutuals

- Community organizations that sit on the CPMT

- Employers' associations recognized by the CPMT

- Legally constituted workers' associations

- Franchisors, who operate a business under the name of

- Clients who have an approved training service and who organise training courses for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their industrial field.


See more information on the PACME here.

Tourism Development Strategy Support Program


$446 million is provided for the creation of an emergency component for accommodation establishments and tourist attractions under the Temporary Collaborative Action Program for Enterprises (PACTE). This component will enable enterprises to obtain loans and loan guarantees on favourable terms.

It includes even more advantageous borrowing conditions for the tourism industry.

Support of $200 million for the year 2020-2021 will be devoted to investment in business tourism in hotels. This is a new component of the Programme d'appui au développement des attraits touristiques (PADAT), with a residual envelope of $48 million. Managed by Investissement Québec, this new component of the PADAT is designed to provide financial support for the renovation or upgrading of hotel establishments. It will make it possible to obtain loans, on advantageous terms, to cover up to 80% of eligible expenses for projects with a minimum cost of $125,000.

At the same time, hotels will be able to receive a $50,000 grant under the Tourist Establishment Accessibility Program for eligible work to make their establishments accessible to people with disabilities.

In order to allow tourist accommodation establishments to conserve cash, the Quebec government has decided to pay a subsidy equivalent to the amount of the tax on tourist accommodation that hotel and bed and breakfast establishments will have paid for the first quarter of 2020. This financial assistance is estimated at $13.8 million.

Businesses that have received a confirmation of financial assistance under the Tourism Development Strategy Support Program will benefit from a postponement of the start or end date of the work. The Ministère du Tourisme will also allow deadline extensions for businesses that must complete the financial setup of projects within a prescribed period. Businesses that wish to take advantage of this relief measure must send an email to the tourism development advisor (French only) in their region. Because the duration of the present crisis is uncertain for now, no deadline is provided regarding these postponements


See information on Tourism Development Strategy Support Program here.

For further information on Tourism Development Strategy Support, see here.

Conversion of industrial activities


Pursuant to section 31.0.12 of the Environment Quality Act, companies that are reorganizing their operations to provide essential products related to the pandemic are not required to obtain ministerial authorization if they are in one of the following two situations:

- Increasing production of a product that they were already producing;

- Temporary modification of routine activities to provide a new product. These include equipment that could be modified or facilities that could be quickly reorganized to meet medical needs, including the manufacture of personal protective equipment such as gloves, masks and gowns, disinfectants, wipes, respirators and other medical equipment and supplies. These activities are identified on the Government of Quebec's Web site.


Eligible carriers

- Quebec-owned carriers offering scheduled commercial air services to isolated regions of Quebec.

- Carriers licensed by the Canadian Transportation Agency to operate scheduled flights.

- Air carriers operating international commercial flights are not eligible for this program.

Eligible air services

Eligible air services are those whose final destination is one of the following isolated regions:


Eeyou Istchee James Bay;

the Lower North Shore;

Anticosti Island;




The Ministère des Transports reserves the right to modify the list of eligible destinations, according to the evolution of the health emergency.

Eligible expenses

The following expenses are eligible :

- operating costs;

- administrative costs;

- aircraft cleaning and disinfection costs;

- costs related to measures put in place to screen passengers for COVID-19;

with the exception, in particular, of expenses for which reimbursement was provided for by another form of public financial assistance at the time the application was submitted.


See more information on the conversion of industrial activities here.

Promote buying locally with


The Blue Basket is an initiative supported by the Government of Quebec to boost local commerce. is a comprehensive directory of local merchants throughout the province. A powerful search engine will quickly be added to help locate products sold by our merchants and thus simplify as never before the local purchase. It is also a universal tool to easily identify local merchants who, during the crisis, are maintaining their sales activities. The first objective of the Blue Basket is to guide consumers to Quebec merchants in order to stimulate their sales.


See more information on website here (only in French).

Workers urgently needed in the context of COVID-19


The Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale is proposing a temporary web platform enabling businesses offering essential services or commercial activities to publish job offers that quickly reach workers looking for a job.


If you would like to publish job offers, you need to fill out the appropriate request form. You will be required to provide:

  • A list of jobs to be filled at your company;
  • The name of the person to contact;
  • A link to your website (if you have one).

Once submitted, your request will be verified and, if accepted, the job offers will be posted.

Information to be verified includes:

  • The legal existence of the business;
  • The business's status as an essential service or commercial activity.
You will be informed by email whether or not your request has been accepted.


See more information on the temporary web platform enabling businesses offering essential services or commercial activities to publish job offers here.


Interest-free loan offered to tenants by the Quebec Housing Society (SHQ)


The Quebec Housing Society (SHQ) aims to ensure that all Quebecers can find housing on July 1st. In particular, it offers an interest-free loan of $1,500 to tenants whose income is reduced because of COVID-19. This loan corresponds to two months' rent, i.e., the months of May and June.

A financial support measure is also available for households waiting for their principal residence. This measure consists of a reimbursement of temporary accommodation and storage or moving costs to households whose plans to move into their principal residence (including a dwelling) are delayed because of COVID-19.

Tenants agree to repay the loan to the SHQ no later than August 1, 2021. No interest will be charged on the loan until August 1, 2021. As of August 2, 2021, interest corresponding to the legal rate will be applied.


To benefit from this program, tenants must fill out the SHQ loan form no later than July 15, 2020.

To apply, a person must be:

  • a natural person;
  • who resides in Quebec;
  • who receives or is eligible to receive the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance benefits from the Government of Canada related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • who is a tenant in an eligible dwelling. In this regard, the applicant must have a residential lease in effect on May 1, 2020 at the time of application.

Is not admissible :

  • a residential unit located in a low-income housing complex (HLM);
a dwelling subsidized by the Rent Supplement program of the Quebec Housing Society (SHQ).


For more information on the SHQ

For more information on the loan program

Temporary Aid for Workers Program (PATT)


This program offers financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who, because they are in isolation to counter the propagation of the COVID-19 virus, cannot earn all of their work income and are not eligible for another financial assistance program.

The lump-sum amount granted to an eligible person is $573 per week, for a period of 14 days of isolation. If justified by your state of health, the coverage period for an eligible person could be extended to a maximum of 28 days.

The PATT program will end on April 10, 2020 at 4 PM. All requests sent before the end date will be processed.


This program is for workers who reside in Québec and are in isolation for one of the following reasons:

they have contracted the virus or present symptoms;

  • they have been contact with an infected person;
  • they have returned from abroad

In addition, workers who are in isolation or likely to be under the above criteria are eligible for the PATT COVID-19 if

  • they are not receiving compensation from your employer
  • they do not have private insurance
  • they are not covered by another government program, such as employment insurance This hyperlink will open in a new window. from the federal government

The program only applies to adult workers aged 18 or over.

The order to self-isolate must have been given by the Government of Canada, the Gouvernement du Québec or another responsible authority.


Also see information on the Temporary Aid for Workers Program (PATT) here.

Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (PIRTE)


This program offers new financial assistance to individuals working in essential jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The assistance will make up the difference between the Canada emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the eligible individual wages.

The program will provide $100 for each week of qualifying work beginning March 15, 2020 and extending for a maximum of 16 weeks.

Update: The government is announcing that it will not extend the Retention Incentive Program for Essential Workers (PIRTE), whose application period ended on July 4.

This decision is explained by a context that is no longer the same as when the PIRTE was created on April 3, 2020. Québec is in "economic recovery" mode, and has already begun deconfining the vast majority of sectors.

The program covered the period between March 15 and July 4, 2020. For workers who have not been able to do so until now, it is still possible to apply online on the Revenu Québec website until November 15, 2020, which is the end of the admission period for this temporary program.


To be eligible under the program, you must:

  • work part-time or full-time in one of the essential service This link will open a new tab sectors during the program period;
  • receive gross wages of $550 or less per week;
  • have an annual employment income of at least $5,000 for 2020;
  • have a total annual income of no more than $28,600 for 2020;
  • be at least 15 years old when you apply for assistance under the IPREW; and
  • have been resident in Québec on December 31, 2019, and plan to reside in Québec throughout 2020.
To receive this assistance for a given week covered by the program, you must not have received amounts under the CERB or the temporary aid for workers program for that same week. Note that you are eligible for the program even if your employer receives assistance through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.


See information on the Program to Retain Essential Workers (PIRTE) here.

More information on the non-renewal of this program

Deferral of Student Loan Payments


Due to COVID-19, the government is postponing student loan debt repayment, which means that you will have no payments to make during the next six months. In addition, no interest will be calculated or added to your loan debt.


The measure automatically applies to all Aide financière aux études clients.


See information on the deferral of student loan payment on the official website of the Gouvernement du Québec here.

Coverage, By The Régie De L'assurance Maladie Du Québec (RAMQ), Of Health Services Related To COVID-19 Provided By Mail Or By Telecommunications


COVID-19 screening tests are covered for all persons present on Quebec territory, whether they have a health insurance card or not.


See the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec website here.


Adjustments to certain tax measures for individuals


Tax legislation will be amended to adapt the refundable tax credit for childcare expenses and the deduction for childcare expenses to support a person with a disability to the reality of long-distance education. This expansion is a response to the accelerating technological shift and to the significant increase in distance learning offered by several educational establishments to comply with health and safety regulations and to ensure the distancing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information Bulletin 2020-9 also confirms the harmonization of Quebec's tax legislation with the federal tax legislation so that the measure allowing a 25% reduction, in 2020, of the amount of the mandatory withdrawal from a registered retirement income fund (RRIF) is implemented.


See the Ministry of Finance's Information Bulletin 2020-9

Postponement Of Administrative Tax Measures


Revenu Québec is postponing to June 1, 2020 the deadline applicable to all administrative tax measures (other than returns otherwise subject to a deferral) that would otherwise fall due in the period beginning on March 17, 2020 and ending on May 31, 2020.

This deferral does not apply to the payment of any amount in respect of various taxes, assessments, contributions or deductions at source. This broad deferral will cover, among other things, the following administrative tax measures:

  • corporate income tax returns;
  • elections provided for by Quebec tax legislation or regulations, such as a rollover (except for QST elections that are harmonized with the GST);
  • application for a tax credit on presentation of documents (12-month deadline);
  • application for a fuel tax refund;
  • responding to requests for information from Revenu Québec;

Amongst others


See the Revenu Quebec website here (French only).

Administrative Measures Taken By Revenu Québec


Following an announcement by the Minister of Finance on March 27, 2020, Revenu Québec will apply new relief measures for individuals and businesses to help them deal with the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Priority is given to the processing of individual income tax returns for which a refund is owed to the individual.
  • Claims for business tax credits and refunds are processed on an expedited basis.
  • Revenu Québec has suspended its audit activities, except in situations involving a risk of fraud. No contact will be initiated with clients, except when necessary for the processing of a refund.
  • Revenu Québec has also suspended its collection measures. Revenu Québec will also be open and flexible with respect to the usual duration of payment arrangements related to tax debts.
  • Flexibility measures are planned for tax return preparers. Revenu Québec will accept an electronic signature on the forms that preparers must have their clients sign.
  • The information sessions usually given in person to individuals and businesses are now offered by telephone.
  • Revenu Québec's Small and Medium-Sized Business Coaching Program is now available by telephone.


See information regarding the administrative measures taken by Revenu Québec here.

Also see information regarding the administrative measures taken by Revenu Québec here.


Fondaction: $30 million investment fund for circular economy businesses


In collaboration with the City of Montréal, Fondaction is preparing the launch of an investment fund dedicated to the circular economy to support economic recovery and ecological transition in the metropolitan region.

Targeting a capitalization of $30 million, this new investment vehicle will aim to finance and support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with innovative business models or those that wish to transform their model by integrating circularity principles, particularly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or the production of residual materials.

To begin, the fund will target the sectors that proved to be critical in Montreal during the pandemic: agri-food, waste management and sustainable mobility.


See Fondaction website here and the circular economy fund information here

Measures To Help Hydro-Québec Customers


Hydro-Québec is putting the following measures in place to help those affected:

  • It will not cut off power to anyone for non payment.
  • There will be no planned service interruptions for system maintenance, with the exception of those that are absolutely necessary.
  • Starting Monday, March 23, Hydro-Quebec will stop applying administration charges for unpaid bills until further notice for all customers. Customers unable to pay their electricity bills over the coming months will thus not be penalized. They can enter into a payment arrangement with Hydro Québec to defer payment.


See Hydro Québec website here.

Relief Measures For Ivanhoé Cambridge Tenants


Ivanhoé Cambridge wants to contribute to the collective effort to support the Quebec economy, and will be deploying measures to alleviate the immediate financial pressure for its tenants in its Québec shopping centres. As such, Ivanhoé Cambridge announces that it will be granting a deferral of the rent payable by those tenants of its retail properties in Quebec, until a later date to be identified in the future, according to their respective situation, and for a period to be determined according to the evolution of the situation.


See Ivahnoé Cambridge page regarding measures taken here.

FTQ Loans: Principal Payment Postponed


Businesses that have a loan with the FTQ will be granted a six-month suspension of their principal and interest payments.


See the Fonds de solidarité du Québec page here.

Caisse De Dépôt Et Placement Du Québec (CDPQ) - Support For Québec Businesses


The CDPQ has earmarked $4 billion to aid companies looking for funding over $5 million.

This envelope, which complements the other programs announced by several financial institutions and other investors, is intended for businesses throughout Québec and in all sectors of activity.


Companies that may qualify for financing must meet the following criteria:

  • be profitable before the start of the COVID-19 crisis;
  • have promising growth prospects in its sector;
  • be seeking financing of $5 million or more.


See the CDPQ's website here.

Fondaction: Relief For Three Months and Agribusiness fund


In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fondaction is strengthening its support for the companies in its portfolio to help them meet the challenges they face.

Thus, Fondaction announces the postponement, for a period of three months starting March 13, 2020 of loan payments, principal and interest, for all the companies it directly finances. This measure will provide more than 200 Québec SMEs with increased liquidity. It is one of the specific support measures that Fondaction is implementing in support of its partners.

Fondaction also offers companies in the agri-food sector financing for projects with a capital need of $500,000 or more by setting up a fund financed up to $40 million. Through this fund, Fondaction aims to help companies that feed Quebecers.


Companies that may qualify for financing must meet the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrate profitability before the crisis;
  2. Have good growth prospects;
  3. Present a strong management team; and
  4. To meet the mission of the Fondaction fund in question.


See Fondaction website here and the agribusiness fund information here.

Cargom Storage And Workforce Project


The logistics and transportation cluster is offering assistance to businesses with storage and workforce needs.


See Cargom's page regarding COVID-19 here.

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